Honey Paprika Chicken

A quick and easy marinade to liven up chicken but works great on salmon too. I served it with lots of fresh salad packed with lettuce, olives, cucumber and peppers. I make up a dressing with 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar along with a clove of minced garlic and some salt and cracked black pepper.

Best served in the sunshine with an ice cold glass of your favourite white wine.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken steaks or breasts

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Clove of garlic – minced

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon while cooking

Method

Mix up your marinade in a large bowl and add your chicken to it to marinate, coating fully. If you have the time to marinate the night before, then all the better otherwise half an hour or so would be fine while you are preparing the salad etc.

Simply add a little olive oil to your griddle / frying pan and cook the chicken until it is fully cooked through. If I’m using chicken breasts rather than steaks I would recommend cutting them in half to reduce cooking time.

Serve with your desired salad and carb of choice.


Thai-Style Drunken Noodles with Prawns

Inspired by a recipe card while doing my shopping in Waitrose. I made these lovely Thai style drunken noodles with prawns with a few of my own tweaks, substituting the odd ingredient here and there. It was such a lovely light dinner full of oriental flavour.

Ingredients

150g noodles

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon ketjap manis

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons groundnut oil + 1 teaspoon for the noodles

180g king prawns

1 small onion – thinly sliced

10 asparagus spears

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon grated ginger

Half a red chillis – sliced

Half a lime

Method

Start by boiling your noodles in boiling water for the advised cooking time. Drain and stir through a teaspoon of groundnut oil. Set aside.

In a large wok or frying pan heat your groundnut oil and pan fry your onions until they are softened now add the asparagus and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for another minute or so.

Now add your prawns and pan fry until cooked through. Stirring all the time.

Add your soy sauce, fish sauce, ketjap manis and brown sugar to a small bowl, mix and add to the pan.

Now toss in your noodles and stir the pan to mix everything up a little.

Serve immediately with lime wedges to squeeze over.


Turkey Schnitzel

Schnitzel is more delicious than it looks. I like experimenting with different breadcrumb recipes to change up the flavour. Serve it with a range of dips, in a wrap or bun or just on it’s own with a rainbow salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 turkey escalopes

1 dessert spoon onion granules

1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 dessert spoon paprika

2 slices brown bread

Cup of plain flour

1 egg – beaten

1 teaspoon garlic granules

Method

Whizz up your bread in a food processor so it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add salt, pepper and spices. Stir to combine.

Scatter your flour over the work surface and one by one dip your turkey escalopes into it followed by the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture.

Place on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.


Peri Peri Chicken

Portuguese food brings back so many happy memories of being in Portugal laughing and drinking rosé with friends. Chicken peri peri is a Portuguese classic that I’ve sampled many times. It is amazing with chips, rice or my oregano and feta potatoes. I’m all for a simple no fuss dinner but tastes like you’ve gone to so much effort.

Literally mix up the marinade, massage it into the chicken (rubber gloves optional) and whack it in the oven. The marinade is also lovely on chicken cooked over the bbq just make double for basting.

Ingredients

1 large whole chicken. I used a 1.9kg chicken

For the marinade

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

4 cloves garlic – minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons oregano

Salt and pepper to season

Juice of a lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Mix up your marinade in small bowl or cup.

Place your chicken in a large baking dish and pour over the marinade massaging it in so every part of the chicken is coated. I use surgical gloves for this!

Roast in the centre of a hot oven according to instructions on how long you need to cook your chicken. I cooked my 1.9kg chicken for 1 hour 45 minutes. Don’t forget to baste every half hour or so with the cooking juices this will keep the chicken moist and make sure it doesn’t dry out during cooking.

Tip: Serve Nando’s style with hot buttered corn on the cobs.


Kashmiri Curry

This recipe was inspired by Mary Berry’s kashmiri chicken curry but modified somewhat. It was amazing and the chicken was so tender. A truly delicious curry with a real depth of flavour. I hope you like my take on it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon hot curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Half tablespoon turmeric

Half tablespoon ground all spice

2 tablespoons ground nut oil or sunflower oil

Teaspoon chilli flakes

2 tablespoons flour

4 chicken breasts – chopped

1 onion – diced

450ml vegetable stock

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

2 garlic cloves – minced

Method

Measure out all of your spices into a large mixing bowl except the ground coriander and chilli flakes, stir to combine and set aside.

Add your chopped chicken to a separate bowl and sprinkle over half of the spice mix and coat thoroughly. Marinate for at least an hour but overnight if time permitting.

Add your oil to a large pan and heat. Add your chopped chicken and brown. Set aside still reserving the oil in the pan.

Add our diced onions, grated ginger and minced garlic and cook down until the onions are soft and translucent.

Now add the chicken back to the pan along with the rest of the spice mix, stock, chilli flakes and flour.

Stir to combine and add your lime juice and zest. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer to an oven proof dish with a lid and cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir in your ground coriander.

Serve with soft pillowy naan breads and some fluffy basmati rice.


Braised Beef

What can I say about this recipe except that it’s utterly divine. The richest winter soul food there is. The beef is cooked low and slow until it is so tender it falls apart when you bite into it. Rich sauce full of root veg and peppers compliments the dish perfectly.

I once knew a girl who managed to salvage her relationship with a similar dinner and she’s married to him with two children now! Just saying.

Ingredients

500g extra lean diced beef

2 carrots – chopped

1 large onion – chopped

2 peppers – 1 red, 1 yellow – chopped

3 cloves garlic

Tin chopped tomatoes

200ml beef stock – the richer the better

1 tablespoon tomato pureé

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Dessert spoon Bovril

Tablespoon vegetable oil

Method

Pre heat oven to 160c / 140c fan

Start by coating your beef pieces in flour and brown in a hot pan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Add the beef to an oven proof casserole dish with all the ingredients except the Bovril.

Cook low and slow for approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes making sure you stir every half hour or so.

Carefully take out the oven and try a piece of the beef to make sure it is tender and falls apart. If not you need to pop it back in the oven 10 minutes at a time more each time until this happens.

When the beef is ready stir in your Bovril and serve with buttery mash and green veg of choice.


Chicken Stew

My mum used to make beef stew and dumplings all the time in the Winter when we were little and I think of it as the ultimate comfort food. I’ve made a chicken version that’s a twist on a classic but still really rustic, delicious and full of flavour.

What’s better it’s a one pot dinner so it’s nice and easy with hardly any washing up which is always a bonus.

Thick slice of bread and butter obligatory.

Ingredients

800ml vegetable stock (x2 veg cubes)

1 medium potato – chopped into about 8 cubes

1 medium red onion – chopped into about 8 cubes

1/2 can butter beans

1/2 can lentils

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

3 cloves garlic – minced

Teaspoon dried rosemary

Can of cream of chicken soup

Dumpling mix – feel free to make your own.

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C / 160C fan

This is literally the easiest dinner ever.

Get yourself a large cook pot that is oven proof and put all your ingredients in except your dumplings and soup.

Pop in the oven for approximately 1 hour making sure it’s covered with a lid.

Now’s the time to mix up your dumplings and leave them to rest in the fridge for a while.

After about an hour remove stew from the oven and put on a low heat on the hob for another 20 minutes or so. 15 minutes before the end of cooking time add in your dumplings and 5 minutes before the end stir in your chicken soup. Simple!


Hoisin Chicken

This is one of the loveliest dinners I’ve had in ages, so quick and easy. Hoisin is always a winner in our house. So rich and full of flavour. The spring onions and cashews add a nice crunch. It’s great served with some jasmine or coconut rice and prawn crackers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

5 spring onions – chopped

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Handful of cashews

Juice of half a lime

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cloves garlic – minced

Method

Cut your chicken into cubes.

Mix up your hoisin sauce, honey, ground ginger and lime juice in a large mixing bowl and add the chicken pieces. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan over a fairly high heat. Add the spring onions, cashews and garlic. Stir for a minute or 2 then set aside.

Now add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the hot pan and pan fry your chicken cubes until they are cooked through. You need the heat fairly high to make sure your chicken browns nicely. Add your spring onions and cashews back in and season to your taste.

Serve right away with rice of choice.


Chilli Con Carne

I always make my chilli the day before as I think it tastes so much better the next day. The flavours are so much stronger and richer.

Serve it with rice, crunchy jacket potatoes or wrapped in a burrito with fresh lettuce and all the sour cream, guacamole, and salsa or simply in a bowl with jalapenos and loads of nachos to dip in.

It’s amazing with all the above dips as well as mango chutney which incidentally I’m obsessed with.

A lovely thick chilli that you can stand the wooden spoon up in on it’s own.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

750g steak mince

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 teaspoons paprika

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 cloves garlic – minced

3 tablespoons tomato pureé

1 tin kidney beans in chilli sauce

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 red onion – diced

2 tablespoons chilli powder

100ml water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons Worcester sauce

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine.

Method

Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan. I cook my chilli in a wok. Cook down the onions until they are nice and soft. Set aside on a separate plate.

Add another glug of oil and brown your mince.

Add all the spices, salt, pepper and garlic, then pour your onions back into the pan along with your tomatoes and kidney beans in their sauce, red wine, tomato pureé, water and worcester sauce.

Stir to combine all the ingredients and leave to simmer for 25 minutes or so.


Kung Pao Chicken

What a burst of flavour this was. So much better for you than the take away and you can probably make it quicker than it would take to pick it up. The sauce is so authentic and something you can knock up at home in minutes.

Serve with white rice, prawn crackers and a glass of chilled white.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

1 red pepper – diced

1 green pepper – diced

2 medium onions

4 spring onions

Glug of sesame or chilli oil

Marinade

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Sauce

200ml chicken stock

5 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese wine vinegar ( or rice wine or cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

Half tablespoon ground ginger

4 cloves garlic – minced

Half teaspoon chilli flakes

Method

Dice up your chicken and rub over your marinade. Set aside while you chop up all your peppers and onions.

Pan fry your chicken in your hot sesame oil for 5 minutes, moving round the pan all the time.

Now add your diced peppers and onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Mix up your sauce, pour over and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Tip: Serve with your white rice and prawn crackers. Pour yourself a nice glass of chilled white.